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Doody's Review ServiceReviewer: David Brennan, BA, MLS (Pittsburgh Theological Seminary)
Description: This book covers a number of issues related to the management of electronic serials collections, primarily from an academic library perspective.
Purpose: The purpose is to provide an overview of "many of the themes, problems, and questions raised by this newly ubiquitous medium [electronic serials]." These objectives are worthy, particularly for smaller academic libraries that are now focusing their attention on providing access to electronic resources. This book meets those objectives.
Audience: The book is written for the practitioner, but it is equally useful for the student, and may indeed be a good choice for a course textbook. The chapters on "Using a subscription agent for electronic journals" (Ch. 2) and "Consortia and electronic journals" (Ch. 5) would be particularly suited for students, while less useful for those already in the field. The authors bring a wide range of appropriate experience to their respective chapters.
Features: The book covers the basics of managing electronic serials collections, from purchasing/access options to collection development and working with usage data. The collection development chapter makes good use of graphics to illustrate survey results. A weakness of the book is the chapter on electronic reserves, which deals with copyright issues in reserve collections. Drawing on a case from an Australian library, the copyright regulations cited differ from those in the U.S. as well as Canada and the U.K. A more general approach to copyright and licensing would have been more effective for different audiences, and indeed is a major component of the management of all electronic collections.
Assessment: This is a good introduction to the management issues involved in dealing with electronic serials collections and will be a useful resource to students and staff in libraries seeking ways to better manage their resources.